By Steve Caringella
Educational Technology Coach
Teachers from throughout the district came together for a "Celebration of Learning" on Monday (May 8) to reflect on their professional learning and growth by participating in one or more of the district's initiatives while giving presentations about work they did with students during the 2016-17 school year.
Peggy Bowen from Rose Elementary School, Brenda LeBeck from Pomeroy Elementary School, and David Carter from Milpitas High School spoke about the Milpitas Innovators Exchange (MIX). Lillian McCall from Pomeroy Elementary School presented about both the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) model and Project Based Learning (PBL), which she utilizes together with her students. Martha Chen from Milpitas High School presented about technology and PBL that she employs with her students. Jennifer Baumgartner from Zanker Elementary School and Carla McNeil from Curtner Elementary School presented on Writers’ Workshop. Ashley Grilli and Michael Sommese from Rose Elementary School jointly presented on their work with Rose’ innovative Exploratory Program. Adelina Vargas, Leslie Singh, and Alexandra Santacruz jointly presented on Randall Elementary School’s dual immersion program.Guests attending the presentations included teachers, school and district administrators, and other staff from throughout Milpitas Unified. Both presenters and guests participated in a “World Cafe Protocol,” in which presentations were followed by a reflective question for discussion in small groups. The protocol lasted four rounds, with guests moving to different tables each time. This process allowed for a diverse range of reflection and discussion, ending with a call to action - to consider the impact of the presentations, reflection, and discussion on one’s own practice.
Overall, the event was a great success. It was inspiring to see the impact that professional learning has had on Milpitas teachers, and how that learning greatly benefits students.